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Recommended site for searching biology abstracts?

  1. Mar 17, 2008 #1
    Hello, I wanted to look into certain strange claims about the interaction of laser light with DNA. But with a search engine alone it is hard for a biology layman like myself to tell if something is fraudulent or not. Is there a site where I can search the abstracts of biology papers? A searchable selection of respected journals maybe?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2008 #2
    Strange claims about interaction of laser light with DNA? I'm curious what would be strange about that now.
  4. Mar 17, 2008 #3
    there's pubmed, though without university affiliation it will be difficult to get much more than an abstract for most articles. Also, it may not be too easy to read as a layperson... Here's the link though:

  5. Mar 17, 2008 #4
    Thank you.

    I was looking for up-to-date papers on this:

    Russian researchers illuminated DNA solutions with laser light, and observed the response. Biophotons of various wavelengths, including visible light, were emitted from the DNA and detected on a spectrographer (or something like that). When the DNA was removed, part of the pattern was still there.

    Gariaev PP, Vassiliev AA, Grigoriev KV, Poponin BP and Shcheglov VA (1992) The DNA phantom effect (1992) (Short Messages in Physics, FIAN #11-12, 1992; reviewed in MISAHA Newsletter #24-27, 1999)

    Gariaev P.P., Chudin V.I., Komissarov G.G., Berezin A.A., Vasiliev A.A., 1991, Holographic Associative Memory of Biological Systems, Proceedings SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Optical Memory and Neural Networks. v.1621, p.280- 291. USA.)

    As I said, I cannot tell if this is fraudulent or not. If someone wants to transfer this into the scepticism and debunking section, alright. But if you want to check it out here, I'd be interested in your evaluation of it.
  6. Mar 17, 2008 #5
    You could use Google Scholar.
  7. Mar 19, 2008 #6


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    Sounds to me more like a detector problem. If you're using a spectrophotometer and you remove the sample and it's still giving a reading, then your detector is screwed up.

    SPIE is an iffy source...it seems things get published in their proceedings simply if you attend their conferences, and there isn't much if any review to go with it. Some of it is legitimate work, and some really out there, and some legitimate research with overly grandiose conclusions. Their conferences are on optics, not biology, so interpret any explanations of biological phenomena as potentially suspect and more as the thing used to test the optics they are studying.
  8. Mar 19, 2008 #7
    Thank you for the information, moonbear.

    Alright... I get the impression it's more complex than that, it's not light emitted from the non-existent DNA, but some polarisation property of the water where the DNA was. Or something like that. It would be cool if we had a detailed electromagnetic model of DNA, complete with wavefunctions and predictions of response to electromagnetic waves. Does such a thing exist?

    As a computer simulation perhaps?
  9. Mar 19, 2008 #8


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    Well, you can't very easily just pull DNA out of water, so that doesn't sound very plausible to me. You'd have to add something like salts and alcohols to precipitate the DNA, and even then, you never get 100% recovery, so it's probably just some DNA left in the sample giving the residual response.
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